Mass spectrometry data format
Mass spectrometry is a scientific technique for measuring the mass-to-charge ratio of ions. It is often coupled to chromatographic techniques such as gas- or liquid chromatography and has found widespread adoption in the fields of analytical chemistry and biochemistry where it can be used to identify and characterize small molecules and proteins (proteomics). The large volume of data produced in a typical mass spectrometry experiment requires that computers be used for data storage and processing. Over the years, different manufacturers of mass spectrometers have developed various proprietary data formats for handling such data which makes it difficult for academic scientists to directly manipulate their data. To address this limitation, several open, XML-based data formats have recently been developed by the Trans-Proteomic Pipeline at the Institute for Systems Biology to facilitate data manipulation and innovation in the public sector. These data formats are described here.
This format was one of the earliest attempts to supply a standardized file format for data exchange in mass spectrometry. JCAMP-DX was initially developed for infrared spectrometry. JCAMP-DX is an ASCII based format and therefore not very compact even though it includes standards for file compression. JCAMP was officially released in 1988. Together with the American Society for Mass Spectrometry a JCAMP-DX format for mass spectrometry was developed with aim to preserve legacy data.
ANDI-MS or netCDF
The Analytical Data Interchange Format for Mass Spectrometry is a format for exchanging data. Many mass spectrometry software packages can read or write ANDI files. ANDI is specified in the ASTM E1947 Standard. ANDI is based on netCDF which is a software tool library for writing and reading data files. ANDI was initially developed for chromatography-MS data and therefore was not used in the proteomics gold rush where new formats based on XML were developed.
mzData was the first attempt by the Proteomics Standards Initiative (PSI) from the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) to create a standardized format for Mass Spectrometry data. This format is now deprecated, and replaced by mzML.
mzXML is a XML (eXtensible Markup Language) based common file format for proteomics mass spectrometric data. This format was developed at the Seattle Proteome Center/Institute for Systems Biology while the HUPO-PSI was trying to specify the standardized mzData format, and is still in use in the proteomics community.
Yet Another Format for Mass Spectrometry (YAFMS) is a suggestion to save data in four table relational server-less database schema with data extraction and appending being exercised using SQL queries.
As two formats (mzData and mzXML) for representing the same information is an undesirable state, a joint effort was set by HUPO-PSI, the SPC/ISB and instrument vendors to create a unified standard borrowing the best aspects of both mzData and mzXML, and intended to replace them. Originally called dataXML, it was officially announced as mzML. The first specification was published in June 2008. This format was officially released at the 2008 American Society for Mass Spectrometry Meeting, and is since then relatively stable with very few updates. On 1 June 2009, mzML 1.1.0 was released. There are no planned further changes as of 2013.
Instead of defining new file formats and writing converters for proprietary vendor formats a group of scientists proposed to define a common application program interface to shift the burden of standards compliance to the instrument manufacturers' existing data access libraries.
The mz5 format addresses the performance problems of the previous XML based formats. It uses the mzML ontology, but saves the data using the HDF5 backend for reduced storage space requirements and improved read/write speed.
The imzML standard was proposed to exchange data from mass spectrometry imaging in a standardized XML file based on the mzML ontology. It splits experimental data into XML and spectral data in a binary file. Both files are linked by a universally unique identifier.
Toffee is an open lossless file format for data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry. It leverages HDF5 and aims to achieve file sizes similar to those from the proprietary and closed vendor formats.
Below is a table of different file format extensions.
Company Extension File type ACD/Labs *.spectrus Imports LC/MS and GC/MS data from most major instrument vendors listed here Agilent
.D (folder) Agilent MassHunter, Agilent ChemStation, or Bruker BAF/YEP/TDF data format Agilent/Bruker .YEP instrument data format Agilent .AEV, .ASR ASCII Report format (for Analytical Studio Reviewer) Bruker .BAF instrument data format Bruker .FID instrument data format Bruker .TDF timsTOF instrument data format ABI/Sciex .WIFF instrument data format ABI/Sciex .t2d 4700 and 4800 file format Waters .PKL MassLynx peak list format Thermo
.RAW* Thermo Xcalibur
Micromass**/Waters .RAW* (folder) Waters MassLynx Chromtech
.DAT Finnigan ITDS file format; MAT95 instrument data format
MassLab data format
Finnigan*** .MS ITS40 instrument data format Shimadzu .QGD GCMSSolution format Shimadzu .qgd instrument data format Shimadzu .lcd QQQ/QTOF instrument data format Shimadzu .spc library data format Bruker/Varian .SMS instrument data format Bruker/Varian .XMS instrument data format ION-TOF .itm raw measurement data ION-TOF .ita analysis data Physical Electronics/ULVAC-PHI .raw* raw measurement data Physical Electronics/ULVAC-PHI .tdc spectrum data
(*) Note that the RAW formats of each vendor are not interchangeable; software from one cannot handle the RAW files from another.
(**) Micromass was acquired by Waters in 1997
(***) Finnigan is a division of Thermo
There are several viewers for mzXML, mzML and mzData: MZmine, PEAKS, Insilicos, MS-Spectre, TOPPView (mzXML, mzML and mzData), Spectra Viewer, SeeMS, msInspect, jmzML and Mascot Distiller.
Known converters for mzData to mzXML:
- Hermes: A Java "mzData, mzXML, mzML" converter to all directions: publicly available, runs with a graphical user interface, by the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich
- FileConverter: A command line tool that converts to/from various mass spectrometry formats, part of TOPP
Known converters for mzXML:
- The Institute for Systems Biology maintains a list of converters
Known converters for mzML:
- msConvert: A command line tool converting to/from various mass spectrometry formats. A GUI is also available for Windows users.
- ReAdW: The Institute for Systems Biology command line converter for Thermo RAW files, part of the TransProteomicPipeline. The latest update of this tool was made in September 2009. Users are now redirected by the TPP development team to use the msConvert software (see above).
- FileConverter: A command line tool that converts to/from various mass spectrometry formats, part of TOPP
Converters for proprietary formats:
- msConvert: A command line tool converting to/from various mass spectrometry formats including multiple proprietary formats. A GUI is also available for Windows users.
- CompassXport, Bruker's free tool generating mzXML (and now mzData) files for many of their native file formats (.baf).
- MASSTransit, a software to change data between proprietary formats, by Palisade Corporation and distributed by Scientific Instrument Services, Inc and PerkinElmer. Purchased from Palisade by John Wiley and Sons in 2020 and incorporated into KnowItAll Spectroscopy software.(list of file formats supported).
- Aston, native support for several Agilent Chemstation, Agilent Masshunter and Thermo Isodat file formats
- unfinnigan, native support for Finnigan (*.RAW) file formats
- OpenChrom, an open source software with support to convert various native file formats including its own open .ocb format to store chromatograms, peaks and identification results
Currently available converters are :
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- ASTM E1947 – 98(2009) Standard Specification for Analytical Data Interchange Protocol for Chromatographic Data
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- Wilhelm M, Kirchner M, Steen JA, Steen H (January 2012). "mz5: space- and time-efficient storage of mass spectrometry data sets". Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 11 (1): O111.011379. doi:10.1074/mcp.O111.011379. PMC 3270111. PMID 21960719.
- Schramm T, Hester Z, Klinkert I, Both JP, Heeren RM, Brunelle A, et al. (August 2012). "imzML--a common data format for the flexible exchange and processing of mass spectrometry imaging data". Journal of Proteomics. 75 (16): 5106–5110. doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2012.07.026. PMID 22842151. S2CID 25970597.
- Bouyssié D, Dubois M, Nasso S, Gonzalez de Peredo A, Burlet-Schiltz O, Aebersold R, Monsarrat B (March 2015). "mzDB: a file format using multiple indexing strategies for the efficient analysis of large LC-MS/MS and SWATH-MS data sets". Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 14 (3): 771–81. doi:10.1074/mcp.O114.039115. PMC 4349994. PMID 25505153.
- Tully B (June 2020). "Toffee – a highly efficient, lossless file format for DIA-MS". Scientific Reports. 10 (1): 8939. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-65015-y. PMC 7265431. PMID 32488104.
- Bhamber RS, Jankevics A, Deutsch EW, Jones AR, Dowsey AW (January 2021). "mzMLb: A Future-Proof Raw Mass Spectrometry Data Format Based on Standards-Compliant mzML and Optimized for Speed and Storage Requirements". Journal of Proteome Research. 20 (1): 172–183. doi:10.1021/acs.jproteome.0c00192. PMC 7871438. PMID 32864978.
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- "BSI: PEAKS website". Bioinfor.com. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "Insilicos website". Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
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- "OpenMS and TOPP website". Open-ms.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "An open source viewer developed under academic projects". Staff.icar.cnr.it. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "An open source viewer developed by Matt Chambers at Vanderbilt". Proteowizard.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "An open source viewer developed by at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center". Proteomics.fhcrc.org. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
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- Matrix Science Limited. "Commercial software with free viewer mode for mzXML and many proprietary formats". Matrixscience.com. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
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"ITAviewer source". GitHub. 9 November 2017.
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- aston – Open source chromatography and mass spectrometry software – Google Project Hosting
- unfinnigan – Painless extraction of mass spectra from Thermo "raw" files – Google Project Hosting
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- wiff2dta at sourceforge